Parallax – “Sputnik” EP (2013)

Independent Release

Review by Vard Aman

Parallax are a recently formed (2011) band from Ukraine, playing what they describe as “Martian Progressive Oriental Metal”, or “Oriental Flavoured Prog Metal”, and “Sputnik” is their debut EP. Now, I’m struggling to find the “oriental” part of the equation in their sound, assuming that I’m understanding the meaning of the word “oriental” correctly. Or perhaps the four songs they selected for this EP don’t contain as much of their oriental flavour as some of the other songs they play might have. But nevermind: “Martian” and “Prog” there is certainly in abundance, and these are the things that make this band what they are, and stand out the way they do. All the songs cover space related themes, most prominently topics surrounding Mars (including the John Carter film and the “Pioneer One” series). The music itself is potently powerful, with heavy guitars, pounding bass and drums and driving rhythms; while the clear and controlled vocals of Helle Bogdanova rise above and rule over this monstrous and bellicose Martian soundscape. Credit must go to the band and to producer, Max Morton, for getting this sound just right!

The EP starts off with the title track, “Sputnik”; starting off in purely historical fashion before moving into the realm of science fiction and Martian topics, and in doing so sets the scene for the rest of the EP. But while it sets up the scene, it is the other songs that bring Parallax, and what Parallax is all about, to the fore. The EP itself, as a conceptual work, is very well crafted from beginning to end. For me, the second track, “Firebird”, and the last track, “Planet War”, are the best songs off the EP. “Sputnik” is a good first offering from this band, and serves as a good introduction. It may not be as intricate or as dynamic as Prog Metal can potentially be, but it almost certainly is as heavy and as powerful as it can be. Get it and find out for yourself.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Sputnik
  2. Firebird
  3. Mind the Past
  4. Planet War

 

Line Up

  • Helle Bogdanova – Vocals
  • Max Khmelevsky – Guitars
  • Evgeny Zhytnyuk – Keyboards & Vocals
  • Xander Kamyshin – Bass

 

Links

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